With Father’s Day around the corner (and hopefully warmer weather too) I want to plan a fun menu that everyone will love but won’t be stressful or complicated for me. And really isn’t keeping mommy happy on Father’s Day the most important thing on everyone’s mind? No? That’s just me? Darn. Anywho, since I’m considering something along the lines of Chili Dogs and Cheese Fries for the main and side, I’m thinking I need some kind of vegetable deal to redeem us a bit. But not too much!
I tried this out this weekend and it was a hit so I’m keeping it for the big day. I added breadcrumbs to the top during the last three minutes of baking. The added crunch made all the difference. I left out the cayenne pepper for the kids sake, though I would have loved to add it and I’m sure that it adds a nice punch.
Also, I didn’t have any cooked rice on hand, so I used 1 cup of instant rice. It only needs five minutes so I could be sure it would have enough time to cook in the short time the casserole spent in the oven. I also used fresh broccoli instead of frozen and it didn’t seem to cause a problem.
Cheesy Mushroom and Broccoli Casserole
Adapted from Sunny Anderson – Food Network
- 3 tablespoons butter, plus extra for casserole dish
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 pound shiitake or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 cup onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar-Monterey blend
- 3 cups cooked rice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Special equipment: 1 1/8-quart oval casserole dish
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Butter casserole dish. In a large pot, melt 3 tablespoons butter and flour over medium heat until golden in color to make a quick roux. The roux should resemble the color of peanut butter. Add mushrooms, onion, garlic, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, heavy cream and chicken stock. Add broccoli, 1 cup of the cheese and rice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour into buttered dish and top with remaining shredded Cheddar. Bake until cheese is melted and golden, about 20 minutes.
During last three minutes, mix a cup of breadcrumbs with 1 to two tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle over casserole. Bake a few minutes until golden.
I came across this recipe on Lattes and Leggings. The photo grabbed me and with a snowstorm bearing down on the city, it seemed like the perfect night for a warm and hearty soup. The addition of cannellini beans hidden inside the soup made it all the more fulfilling. Topped with fresh shavings of Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts, this soup is one of the most satisfying I’ve ever had.
Even my two year old liked it. I smashed the beans down with a fork for him and left out the pine nuts. He gobbled it up.
I switched out the yellow onion from the original recipe to leeks. They’re in season, I had a craving for them and it worked really well. To make things easier, you can find bags of pre-sliced leeks in the grocery store, which is what I used.
I stored a few one-cup portions into freezer bags (not including the Parmesan and pine nuts) for a quick dinner another night.
Leek and Broccoli Soup
adapted from Lattes and Leggings – adapted from Molto Batali
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3-4 leeks, sliced (about 3-4 cups)
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bunch broccoli, bottom stems trimmed and cut into florets (about 8 cups)
- kosher salt
- 4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 parmesan rind
- 1 (15oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, for serving (see note below)
In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the leek and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened. Add the red pepper flakes and garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the broccoli and season with salt. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently. The broccoli will turn bright green. Add the broth and parmesan rind. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Some of the parmesan rind will slowly melt into the soup.
Remove and discard the parmesan rind. Transfer the soup to a food processor. Puree the soup in batches. Return the pureed soup to the pot and add the beans. Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes until warmed through. Season with salt to taste.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes if so desired. Serve.
Note: To toast the pine nuts, heat a small pan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts, spreading them evenly in the pan. Stir occasionally until they are slightly golden 3 to 5 minutes.